Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Birding in the Upper Galillee

This morning I met up with Nadav and his team up in the Galillee mountains. Our main mission was to ring Goldcrests. This seems to be a very good winter for this rare bird in Israeli standards. In this particular spruce grove, we had 10-15 birds, which is an Israeli record I guess!
As you understand we caught nothing; the birds just wouldn't come down low enough to get caught. I spent some time trying to photograph them but no results at all - they're so fast! This is how my images looked like:

But this is not totally useless as these pretty spruce branches could make excellent perches for future projects:

Anyway, after that failure we had some time to check the beautiful pistachio and almond orchards of Birya. This is Israel's prime site for Pine Bunting, and indeed we had two - I had a female (all too brief) and Nadav had a cooperative male. They were hanging around with 30 Yellowhammers - another good bird:

Apart for that a flock of 20 Woodlarks were nice:

They actaully perch on trees!

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